Quaint Captivating Colonia

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Being the incredibly together and organized people that we are, this last weekend we realized that our 90 day visa allowing us to chill in Buenos Aires was expiring, well, as of today!

We had two options: renew or extend said visa. To extend the visa, we would have had to dance attendance upon the Argentine immigration office, and after a few hours in a few lines, we would have had our visa extended without actually setting foot outside of the country. Ultimately though, we ruled out this option because of long line rumors, the possibility we might need a birth certificate for the girls, and, mostly, because the thought of standing in various lines at a government agency with two squirrelly and highly irritating children was more than we could bear.

Cue lovely, crisp fall day perfect for a ferry ride to Colonia, Uruguay on a rocking family HOMESCHOOL FIELD TRIP! Funnily enough, it turned out to have some educational value, as the heyday of Barrio Hist├│rico in Colonia is the same period of South American history we are currently studying at home.

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6 Responses to “Quaint Captivating Colonia”

  1. Buenos Aires Expats - Online Community of Expatriates and guide to living in Buenos Aires, Argentina

    […] 23 April Quaint Captivating Colonia[micheleandtom.com] Being the incredibly together and organized people that we are, this last […]

  2. rickw

    Nice pictures. Is stepping out of the country every three months and coming back with a new visa is a pretty common way to handle this?

  3. Dennis

    From various blogs, there seem to be three ways that people extend their visas:

    1) Leave the country briefly, such as described here. Some people say that they’ve been doing this for years (I heard one person say close to 10 years!)

    2) Go to a Migraciones office in Argentina, wait in line, and have it extended. This costs something like AR$50 or AR$100, but can take many hours, as is typical for most processes in Argentina. I’ve heard that you can only do this once before leaving the country, but like all things, you can probably do it other ways. Migraciones in Buenos Aires is notorious for long lines. In other parts of the country it may be shorter. Some people have reported that they’ve been refused an extension if they try to get it too far ahead of time, for example two weeks early rather than two days.

    3) Overstay your visa and pay a penalty at the airport when you leave. Until this week, that penalty was AR$50. While the implication was that you could only do it once, people did it often, as it appeared that there was no record put in your passport (unless someone carefully checked dates). Just this week, the price went up to AR$300, and one person was given a very stern warning that if they did it more than once or twice, they wouldn’t be let back in the country.

    As in all things like this, your mileage may vary.\

    In Argentina, all rules/laws are followed exactly, except when they aren’t!

  4. Michele

    Dennis, nice answer! I would add that my brother, during the time that he lived here, could extend with Micraciones only once upon every other visit to the country. In other words, he had to leave the country at the end of his 90 days every other entry.

    Since we are not settling here for a long period of time, and because of the fact that we are doing a lot of traveling regionally anyway, we are generally on the correct side of our 90 days. If I was going to stay here for years, or didn’t plan on or have the budget for a lot of travel, then I would go for the Rentista Visa.

    A family I know who is getting their resident visa together now has said their Argentine immigration lawyer feels that the government is going to be tightening up its standards over the course of this year and that expats are going to see stricter immigration controls.

    We’ll see!

  5. Dennis

    Current word over at baexpats.org is that the fee at Migraciones is now AR$300 too, although at least one person apparently couldn’t even get the extension (several people told her “no”). Another was able to get it after the first was denied, so, like all things, it is confusing.

  6. Michele

    Thanks Dennis!! Just goes to show things are a’changing.

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